In today’s “The cover is better than the original”, we chose The Staves’ I’m on Fire. The original song is by Bruce Springsteen. Why it’s better: Springsteen came up with this song in the early 80s when he was playing around with a Johnny-Cash-like rhythm in the studio. The song is part of Springsteen’s near perfect album “Born In the USA.” It’s difficult to top a Springsteen classic, but The Staves’ version of the song makes it more intimate. The melody is stripped down to guitar chords and vocal harmonies. The English trio of sisters creates a different ambiance with their folky voices. There have been other worthy covers, like AWOLNATION’s version for the “Fifty Shades of Grey” soundtrack or John Mayer’s take, which was a bonus track for his “Battle Studies” album. The Staves change the song inadvertently by infusing it with heartfelt vocals which other versions lack. Listen for yourselves and decide which one is better.
In today’s “The cover is better that the original”, we chose Portishead’s SOS. The original song is by ABBA. Why it’s better: We all know that the Swedish group is an iconic pop phenomenon with a lot of catchy and emotional pop songs. ABBA has a definite style that you can recognize in any of their songs, the soft vocals and 70s vibe. Portishead’s cover strips down the lyrics and applies their own signature of “alternative rock.” The video for the song came out as a response to Labor Party Member of Parliament Jo Cox’s assassination. She was a young politician that advocated for immigrants in the U.K. among other issues. The political message, Beth Gibbons’ vocals, the band’s arrangement and the powerfully simple video transform a catchy tune into a haunting and beautiful plea for unity. The video ends with this poignant quote from one of Jo Cox’s speeches.
Quote of the month. Read more about creativity and the creative life here.
Quote of the month. Image source: Artwork for “Cry of the Sloth” by Michael Mikolowski.
Quote of the month.
Quote of the month.
In today’s “The cover is better that the original”, we chose Johnny Cash’s Hurt. The original song is by Nine Inch Nails. Why it’s better: Nine Inch Nails original song is quite impressive with Trent Reznor’s classic distortions and his voice rising in the right moments. The original has an aggressive edge that the cover lacks. But Cash’s interpretation of the song and the video that goes along with it are incredibly poignant due to the fact that you are watching pieces of this man’s life and his inevitable decay. The appearance of his wife, June Carter Cash, watching over him is equally moving. The lyrics accompanied an incomparable life that is no more. Although Reznor’s original is entirely different his lyrics are to be admired because they could fit the despair of very different men.
Quote of the week. Photograph by Tim McGurr a.k.a. 13th Witness.
Quote of the week. Image source: Highway to the Sunset